Friday, February 28, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Mark Smith

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“To counter the suggestion that shows are becoming irrelevant in a digital age of freely available information I would argue the exact opposite. It is the abundant availability of digital information that makes these shows an invaluable tool for already overworked art directors.”

“They provide a go-to guide for peer reviewed artwork/artists and not only guarantee a certain level of quality, but also (given that the majority of shows include illustrators on the judging panels) they leave the assessment of that quality in the hands of illustrators themselves.”

“I can understand how the intrinsically exclusive aspect of competitions might be distasteful to some, but I believe they also serve as focal points for the illustration industry as a whole. They can be an easy way in for people that have a relatively new interest in the field, whether these people are looking to commission work or studying to become a future practitioner, people who would otherwise be confronted with a sea of un-vetted information.”

“Paradoxically this un-vetted abundance can act as a barrier in itself, discouraging amongst others, the very people we would make our future living from. I firmly believe that anyone willing to provide a platform for illustration should be wholeheartedly encouraged and 3x3 does this in spades. It informs, promotes, guides and educates in equal measures, and I for one am both indebted to, and extremely glad of its existence.”


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